CATEGORIES Documentary, New Releases, Tribeca, Magnolia, Celebrities and Controversy, Politics, Movie News, Tribeca Film Festival, New Releases, CinematicalDocumentary filmmaker Kirby Dick is no stranger to controversy, and it sounds like his latest project, set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month, might be the most eyebrow-raising yet. After addressing pedophile priests in Twist of Faith (which earned an Oscar nomination) and the corrupt MPAA ratings system in This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Dick is now going after a different breed of hypocrite: politicians who promote anti-gay legislation while secretly living gay lives themselves.
The film is called Outrage, and our colleagues at IndieWIRE have seen an early cut of it. (Dick says they'll be editing right up to the last minute, to ensure timeliness.) The film has interviews with openly gay politicians like Barney Frank, but the real meat seems to be reporting on the closeted politicians -- mostly Republican men -- who rail against homosexuality publicly while engaging in it privately. IndieWIRE, while refraining from spoiling any surprises, says there are stories here that have not been publicized before. So it's not just Larry Craig and Mark Foley, but others, too.
If that's the case, then the weather forecast calls for major s***storms once the film debuts at Tribeca on April 24. Magnolia is releasing it theatrically shortly thereafter, on May 8, to capitalize on whatever brouhaha erupts; I hope that this doesn't cause the film to come across as vindictive or sensationalistic. I've admired all of Dick's previous documentaries, not least because they've stayed on the side of truth and justice and didn't engage too much in pettiness. Dick tells IndieWIRE that the purpose of the film is not just to out closeted politicians -- and that's good. If a politician (or anyone else) wants to stay closeted, that's fine. It's only when they're simultaneously endorsing public policies that hurt the gay community that it becomes an issue.
Or at least that seems to be Kirby Dick's view. What do you think? Should everyone be outed? Should no one be outed, even if their congressional voting record suggests a hypocritical point of view? And what place do filmmakers have in all this? Finally, isn't it funny how Larry Craig kept insisting he didn't do that bathroom thing, and that he's not gay, and yet nobody believes him? Poor Larry.